Tempers flare as parents seek info about Maitland school threats

Social media posts investigated at Maitland Middle School

MAITLAND, Fla. – School officials and police addressed safety concerns from parents after threats and possible gang activity involving Maitland Middle School students surfaced on social media.

Tempers flared in a PTA meeting late Monday as Principal Stefanie Shames spoke to more than 100 parents.

"Why don't you just tell us all the details of this altercation so we don't have to guess how many kids?" said a parent speaking to Shames.  "Were there seven kids? Were there nine kids? Was there one victim or (were) there two victims?"

Confusion spread over the weekend when a message was sent to parents about extra security at the school, but few other details were offered.

"I was made aware of threats on social media and immediately reported it to Maitland Police Department," said Shames in the message.

Shames told parents that the incidents were typical middle school behavior, but admitted she told police to investigate a post on social media from a group calling themselves "Maitland 5K."  The post referenced weapons and threatened violence.

After an investigation, police and school officials said no real gang existed, and the students involved have been disciplined.

"It's not a rampant problem. It's not all of these things happening," said Shames. "It's some kids, and so we have worked through the code of conduct to address it."

To further assure parents, police said they would do a further safety assessment of the school.

Parents said a committee will be formed to address future safety concerns.


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